Fluid and microfluidic dielectric measurement using a cavity perturbation method at microwave C-band
The utilization of cavity perturbation technique in dielectric property measurement of fluid and micro-fluid is investigated in this thesis to better assist the ever-growing needs of science and technology for analysis and characterization of such materials in various applications from genetics, MEMS devices, to consumer product industry. Development of different techniques for measuring complex dielectric properties of fluid and micro-fluids at Giga (10 9)-Hz frequencies is of significant importance as their usage is increasingly coupled with infrared and microwave electromagnetic wavelengths. Conventional cavity perturbation method could provide a sensitive and convenient system for measuring fluids of low (e.g., ϵr <10) permittivity that meets the assumptions of negligible perturbation to the electromagnetic field distribution in the cavity. Developing a methodology that uses conventional cavity perturbation method that is however suitable for a sensitive, accurate, and reliable measurement of high permittivity polar liquids at microwave C-band is the goal in the current work. Systematic studies are carried out, using de-ionic (DI) water as test specimens, to evaluate the influence of sample's container, volume, dimension, and temperature on the sensitivity and reliability of microwave dielectric measurement. The cavity perturbation measurement of DI water in a 1 mm diameter capillary tube showed well-defined temperature dependence of dielectric permittivity and loss coefficients of water. Observation of a permittivity peak in temperature range tested at 4GHz around -10 °C implies an important relaxation in low temperatures at microwave C-band, which corresponds to a critical slowing down of polarization reorientation in crystallized (icy) H2O. Numerical simulations using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) COMSOL suites were conducted to established the optimum amount of liquid water for cavity perturbation testing at microwave C-band (in perfectly conducting condition). The results showed at TE103 mode the tube D4= 4mm diameter (272 μL liquid volume capacity) provides the best measurement sensitivity in terms of resonant shift and low loss while for TE105 the 2mm 68 (μL liquid volume capacity) tube is the most promising. The experimental results yielded a shape factor of around 2 and 1 for ϵ' and ϵ", respectively. The examination of ϵ' and ϵ" interdependence using Kramers-Kronig concept showed the permittivity loss values is 4 times more dependent to the quality factor of resonant peak than permittivity. On the other hand, the dielectric permittivity dependence to resonant frequency was calculated around 2 times bigger than dielectric loss which signifies the importance of ϵ" in high loss liquid measurement by the cavity resonant perturbation method.